I am in my first quarter of my freshman year of undergrad at UC Davis and am a student in the course-based undergraduate research First-Year Seminar with the Eisen lab, studying the microbiomes of nectar. Previous to this class, the only lab experience I had were the typical high school labs for my chemistry and biology courses. I had never previously performed any of the experiments we did in class this quarter. I am so glad I decided to take this specific first year seminar, as it has given me research experience in a friendly environment with even friendlier people. I mainly chose this course because it looked unique to the other first year seminars, as it gives undergraduate research experience, while other seminars are typically lecture-based.
I learn so much every time I step into the lab. Through both success and failure, I always feel comfortable in the lab and excited to learn. It is so intriguing to see how new research is conducted and it is an incredible opportunity to be able to be a researcher in the lab. I now have learned techniques such as how to perform gel electrophoresis, PCR and more. By the end of the lab, we are hoping to be able to identify the bacteria in the nectar samples for the purpose of better understanding the relationship between nectar and pollinators. I am excited to see the future results we will find as we continue to collect brand new data.